Life saving pioneer remembered

After more than half a century of service, Mount Maunganui surf life saving legend Louis Jordain will be farewelled this Friday.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand reported Louis, a surf life saving member for more than 50 years and recipient of a number of the sports distinguished awards, died yesterday.

Louis Jordain was a member of Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service.

Although it is not yet confirmed how the 81-year-old died, Surf Life Saving New Zealand general manager Mark Weatherall says Louis has been unwell for a few years.

Mark says Louis was a very proud member of the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service and was a pioneer in the development of the IRB in New Zealand.

“Louis has done a huge amount for surf life saving over the years. He put a huge amount into surf life saving across the country and he will definitely be missed across the board.”

Louis developed the first IRB Rescue Operations within New Zealand.

He founded and developed the Bay of Plenty Professional Lifeguard Service for the region and instigated and developed the Tauranga 24 hour 7 day a week Call Out Rescue Squad. 

The lifesaving legend led the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service Clubhouse Building Project in 1978 and again during 1981 when the clubhouse was destroyed by fire.

Louis also established the first Junior Surf (Nipper) Club in New Zealand.

Mount Maunganui Lifegurad Service President Brent Warner says Louis will be sorely missed and his legacy will continue to live strong.

 “For me Lou was not only an advisor and mentor but a true mate who as recently as last week during our weekly catch-up’s was grilling me on governance matters and passing on his congratulations to the club team for winning the Allan Gardner Trophy at the recent national championships.

“Lou was a true gentleman who has had an immense and profound effect on both my personal and sporting life and with his passing I have lost a true friend.”

After starting his surf life saving career at Sydney’s Freshwater Surf Club, Loius became heavily involved in both New Zealand and Bay of Plenty surf life saving circles when he joined the Mount Maunganui Surf Club in 1952.

He received his Surf Bronze award in 1950 in Australia.

In 1984 Louis was made a life member of the Mount club before being made a life member of SLSNZ in 1997.

Louis was made the vice president of SLSNZ in 1983 and continued his position there until 1987. In 1998 Louis received his 50 year badge for SLSNZ.

In 1989 Louis received his SLSNZ Service Award and earned his Distinguished Service Award for SLSNZ in 1994.

In 1990 Louis was awarded a SLSNZ Bay of Plenty Service Award before earning the SLSNZ life membership award for the Bay in 1992.

Louis was made the Mount Lifeguard Service president in 1981 where he remained until 1984 and then again from 1987-1998.

He was the president of SLSNZ BOP from 1983-85 and again in 1993 and 1994.

A funeral for Louis will be held at 3pm on Friday May 17 at the Mount Maunganui Surf Club.

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